After the success of episode #1 of of my in the kitchen with Krause series, I decided to continue with a loaf of carrot-nut bread, which provided me with a convenient excuse to use part of a kilogram of carrots I had purchased. The basic recipe is followed by two dozen photos and excessive commentary.
Step 1: start with carrots. I often buy a kilogram in a plastic, wrapped container at the local market, though sometimes I purchase them bundled. In any case, most European produce will not wait around patiently for weeks on end to be used ... lack of excessive preservatives. As a single guy, I have difficulty finding use for a full kilo of carrots ... unless I bake with them.
These carrots were not particularly large, so I had to use almost a half-dozen to get the required 1.5 cups of shredded orange matter. Three or at most four regular carrots do the job as well. My apartment came equipped with a handy-dandy four-sided tower-like hand-shredder ... cheese, veggies ... they all bow to the mighty shredder. I shred the carrots on the “small” setting.
For this recipe I use my small green bowl; the larger bowl (barely a “medium”) is overkill. In contrast to the banana-nut bread this is a tiny loaf, though it uses as much plant matter and eggs (but one cup less flour).
Most observers will notice little difference between the carrots on their own and the carrots with a third cup oil. I used a generic vegetable oil ... likely rapeseed ... for me it is just a matter of what I have on hand. I do not bother mixing the carrots and oil until I have added the sugar and the eggs—then the whole mess gets a good beating with a fork until it becomes rather frothy.
Salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and ground cloves are added at the same time and mixed. The result differs little from its predecessor except that it is a bit darker and starts to produce a few more bubbles.
I add half white flour and half wheat, though it works fine if you use only white. There is no need to sift the flour first, or to be too precise with the measurements. A fellow Fulbrighter, Anne, brought me back a set of cheap plastic measuring cups (1/4 cup, 1/3 cup, 1/2 cup, and 1 cup) after winter break, but I rarely bother leveling them off or using the “proper” combinations ... 3/4 cups is usually 1/2 plus 1/2 of 1/2, or a bit less than 1 cup ...
As with the banana bread, do not over-mix the batter once you add the flour. This time I dumped in a package (100g) of slivered almonds that I broke up a bit more before adding. Then into the greased pan it all went. Again: grease the bottom (shortening or butter) but not the sides, and flouring is not necessary. I mix this batter with a fork, which is great for whipping the carrots, oil, sugar, and eggs, and which also ensures than the flour does not clump. A teaspoon can be used to get any extra batter from the bowl. I don't bother with a rubber spatula; since I am only staying in Berlin for less than a year I did not feel the need to populate my kitchen with an army of implements and tools (though, as mentioned above, I did acquire a set of measuring cups [and spoons!], which is an improvement over guestimating).
The batter fills at most half of the pan; a smaller pan could be used, or the recipe enlarged. A similar strawberry-nut bread calls for three eggs, 1/2 cup oil, 3 cups of flour, and still 12oz. of fruit/vegetable material. The leavening agent is also increased, but not doubled.
As with other recipes made in this oven, I turn down the temperature and resort to using only the lower element after about 15 minutes of baking so as to avoid burning. 55 minutes is usually enough for this recipe.
The result, which I let sit for ten or more minutes before taking it from the pan to cool on a cutting board, is a rich golden brown and dense in texture. The orange of the carrots is readily apparent. If the bread sticks to the pan, I use a butter knife around the edges to loosen it, which usually does the job. I let it cool about an hour before cutting it. The top crust rarely cracks. Unlike the banana bread recipe, this loaf begins to dry out after a day or two, whereas the banana bread actually improves by sitting in the air a while. Extra loaves or leftovers can be wrapped in foil and frozen.
This loaf was baked on the 14th of June, 2006.
—June 20 2006